The conference concluded with a 10 point resolution pointed toward encouraging behavior in our communities aimed at the task of reconstituting the black family unit.
Nine of the 10 points aim exclusively at an internal re-focusing in communities on education and mentoring on the importance of traditional moral behavior in matters of sex and marriage. We are talking here about moral ABCs such as discouraging pre-marital sex and cohabitation, emphasizing the importance of marriage fidelity and the role of the community in providing support, such as male mentoring for our many fatherless children.
The single point in the resolution that turned outside and looked toward the political arena was the endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
There is a general feeling in this community that they have been let down in Washington. A good portion of the million and a half blacks that voted Republican in 2004 did so because of the prospect of leadership on the marriage amendment. However, after the presidential election discussion of this issue by our political leaders became as hard to find as icicles on a hot August afternoon in Washington.
And the one representative from the Bush Administration scheduled to appear on a panel at this Dallas conference pulled out in order to appear at a meeting of the overwhelmingly left leaning National Association of Black Journalists.
Meanwhile, while these black pastors were convening in Dallas, in my own home state the California Supreme Court issued a ruling laying another rung in the ladder leading to national legal recognition of gay marriage. The court in California ruled unanimously that "A business that extends benefits to spouses it denies to registered domestic partners engages in impermissible marital status discrimination."
This was the first case probing the scope of California's domestic partner law which took effect this year, granting domestic partners most of the rights of spouses under state law.
The black church community is feeling an ever-increasing sense of futility on this issue. Judge Robert Bork has painted a compelling picture of the inevitability of the national legalization of gay marriage if there is no marriage amendment. We are watching the scenario he painted play out prophetically.
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